VERIFY: Are power strips and space heaters a dangerous combo?

VERIFY ' Are power strips and space heaters a dangerous combo?

PARMA, OHIO - A social media post from a fire department that warns about plugging space heaters into power strips is making the rounds once again.

So we wanted to verify that question: Is it a potential fire hazard?

Parma Fire Department spokesman TJ Martin says yes.

“There is a very definite difference between a surge protector and a power strip," said Martin.

It’s usually about $30.  Not all power strips are created equally.

Pricier ones usually have surge protector, according to Martin.

"There's a reason they charge you 99 cents for one and another one is 28 dollars.  Sometimes penny wise is pound foolish. Spend the extra money if you are going to get a power strip and get a good one," says Martin.

Martin warns cheaper power strips WITHOUT SURGE PROTECTORS are 
-for low voltage 
-for temporary usage
-should have nothing plugged in that has a prolonged power supply

"Because they have so much start up energy and because they heat up so quickly and for such a prolonged time, the heat transference goes back down to the power strip and causes it to overheat," says Martin.

Christmas lights, he says are fine.  Heating units are NOT.

Your space heater is best directly plugged into the wall, and even then,

"If it requires 15 amps, make sure your outlet is 15 amps.  Not 10.  Not 5. Over is fine, not under," warns Martin.

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